Happy New Year! (Or end of the year if you're a patron reading this early.)
2019 was an interesting year for my channel. The channel growth throughout the year was smaller than in 2018, and I think I've put out less in terms of number of videos, but I think what I've accomplished during the year was pretty solid. I've made more friends, got in touch with more of my favorite creators among other things!
There were a lot more spontaneous video ideas produced during the year, as a lot of the big video ideas that were in my mind had to be put in the backlog just because I haven't found the time to research more or gather the materials necessary. I was actually a bit nervous about my studies as I was going into my third year in university (one more year to go!), and wanted to focus more on my studies and academic projects. (The turmoil in Hong Kong for the past 6 months kinda threw a wrench into those plans.)
With all these events in my personal life combined, it made it harder for me to keep my sole attention on developing new video ideas, especially the big ones I wanted to make. That said, I found this year to still be a great one for my YouTube hobby after all. I'm still very lucky to have this sizable audience that enjoys my content (and especially my patrons reading this for supporting me!)
This year in review is originally going to be a multiple-hour-long commentary on each of my core videos (as voted by my Patreon supporters in a poll), but unfortunately I've been dealing with a mildly-inconvenient blocked/runny nose for the past few weeks due to the cold weather, and that would've interfered with my plans to do a livestream without coming off as being sick. So here's a big in-depth article on my thoughts on the significant videos I've produced this year, plus some interesting tidbits about them and a look into what 2020 holds! I hope you'll still enjoy it if you want to know more about my video-making processes.
Without further ado, let's start with...
I teased a video about the Game Boy Camera at the end of my Play-Yan Micro core video, and I'm glad I was finally able to get around to making a video about it! (unlike another big video I've been teasing for months *cough*)
There have been multiple YouTube videos about the Game Boy Camera, so the goal of my core video was to be an in-depth overview of pretty much all of the Game Boy Camera's features, including hidden options and minigames. I hope this decision didn't make it too boring. :P Anyway, here some some neat facts and tidbits:
- In the opening segment I capped off Nintendo's history of gimmicks with the Quality of Life project. It was gonna be the Wii Vitality Sensor ("...literally folding cardboard! Measuring your heart rate!...oh.") But after that I realized it was too similar to Jimmy Whetzel's Game Boy Camera which contained a similar riff on it.
- I honestly am still super fascinated with all the other cameras on Nintendo's various systems. Heck, I made a video on Photo Dojo later on, but I may have other core video ideas planned for the other camera games someday! Maybe this year? Who knows.
- Since most of the Game Boy Camera footage shown is from an emulator, I had to take pictures of other objects with my notebook's webcam, which was a lot harder than it looks. This is also why there weren't a lot of outdoor shots shown. This is something I kinda regret, but hey, what can you do.
- I liked the 'Run' gag in this one! It's like a very infamous meme at this point, but I wanted to do something new than just pointing at the scary faces like I've never seen them before.And no I didn't drop the GBA directly onto my floor, there was a cushion below me.
- I teased a possible Things of Interest video on the Game Boy Printer in this one! I haven't gotten any new Game Boy games that are compatible with it at this point, but I'm probably still going to make a video on it soon anyway, just so I can share my mild pain of getting new printer paper that's suitable for it in 2019.
- Real talk, I'm glad this magnificent picture is possible out of the box. I still have it taped to a wall, but the ink has definitely faded a bit, just like any other old receipt does.
- I could've used a much more creative idea than just waving a Kirby plush around for the 'animation', heh. But when you're limited to using a notebook webcam, actual stopmotion animation is out of the question. :P
- Patreon supporters get to watch the full unaltered clip of me playing the Ball minigame for almost 8 minutes straight trying to go for the high score and failing miserably. These are the best perks truly.
- I had no idea how to operate the music making tool in the Game Boy Camera until I was working on this video. I tried giving a simple enough explanation here but I still stand that the controls are way too convoluted for Game Boy controls. It's still impressive though!
- The long skit where I try to raise the flag in Run! Run! Run! through button mashing is obviously a reenactment but yes according to my experience it WAS that hard.
- I got a shoutout from YouTube Gaming for this so I've probably already peaked
Oh boy, talk about a video idea for my channel that ticks all the boxes. Obscure game? Check. Interesting gimmick? Check. Evokes nostalgia in a limited group of people? Check. I had tons of fun making this video, even if it's not as gag-heavy (save for the skits at the beginning and end), I think I did a good job making an informative video on Photo Dojo, which hasn't been done on YouTube yet to my knowledge. I love me some obscure subjects.
- I have terrible budgets and manpower for my opening skits. I literally found the 'floating string in the sky' stuffed in a random cabinet since I didn't have a conventional rope and wasn't able to have someone else dangle it from the sky for me at the time. Everything you see in the opening part of the video was shot and acted out by myself only. (I obviously sought help for the in-game posing segments.)
- The in-game AK fighter shown in the video was created specifically for it to document the fighter-making process, but on my personal Photo Dojo save, I had a way younger version of me taking to the battlefield with slightly cringe-worthy lines as "All your base are belong to me" and "A winner is I." I stole the "I diagnose you with pain" line from my younger self though, that's still a good one.
- My only regret for this video is not being able to cover the Photo Dojo website and the bonus custom content they released for it. Maybe a more serious web archivist will be able to dig those assets out or something!
- Shoutouts to the Photo Dojo community by the way. If you told me that there are still people actively posting new custom fighters in 2019 before I started making this video I would not have believed you.
- The fact that I could record and post new direct-feed Photo Dojo footage to YouTube since Nintendo's own trailer probably already makes my 2018 investment in a 3DS capture card worth it.
- I'm weirdly proud of the "port Melee to it" joke. Maybe it's because I spent way too much time setting it up for a 5-second gag.
- Some of the other fighters you see in the single-player mode segment were custom characters sent to me by my Patreon patrons! I want to do more neat patron contributions for some of my future videos as well, provided there is a way to make it happen in the context of said videos.
- I like the Pichu joke ending shut up also I predicted Smash VR
Now here's something truly fascinating: I actually want to make an addendum for this video down the line as an interesting piece of Photo Dojo history has surfaced since its posting! A 3DS prototype was discovered by user Voodooween in June 2019, and on it...a tech demo from 2010 called 'Photo Dojo DX'!
While I would absolutely love to get my hands on it and make a follow-up video talking about it, methods for dumping the demo off of the prototype unit are still being looked into as of this article's posting. I definitely hope that it gets figured out soon!
And my most popular core video of 2019 goes to...!!
This video may draw similarities to the Meme Run video I made in 2017, simply because both it and PDI Check fit into the category of 'meme eShop release', but I felt like this one was worthwhile to dive to, and it wouldn't have been made possible without the help of my fellow patron Angry, who volunteered for the purchase. It was kind of a gamble I had to take, but I'm glad it turned out well!
I actually first heard of PDI Check around the time of its release, but I didn't pay too much mind to it and all I knew from news accounts reporting on it was that 'it costs 99 USD, isn't that strange'. Honestly, with its surface production values and price point I could've absolutely teared it apart in a video, but as I researched and found out about the good intentions behind it I couldn't bring myself to do it. Sure, the app has its own flaws and what you do get for the price of 99 USD does certainly raise a few eyebrows, but there are legitimate doctors out there in third-world countries using this app as a tool to diagnose eye problems, and that is a pretty amazing fact that I wanted to bring to light with this video. Overall, this is probably one of my most favorite core videos thus far, and I'm glad it did well!
- Shoutouts to Dr. Robert Arnold, the creator of PDI Check who actually watched and commented on my video! I hope I wasn't too harsh... :]
- Bonus fact! I mentioned that Alex Damarjian is the programmer of PDI Check, and he has previously worked on licensed games in the past. He actually used to be a part of High Voltage Software, and has had a hand in games such as Iron Man 2, and several Dora the Explorer games. He currently has his own studio and continues to work on games with medical applications, such as a VR game that uses vergence therapy.
- In case you missed it (or actually have red-green color blindness): the color vision chart at the 1:44 mark shows le turt!
- To actually record direct-feed footage of PDI Check, I had to play it on my capture card unit, which is a 2DS! I did have to use some homebrew magic to migrate the game over to a New 3DS (as shown in the on-screen footage) so I could actually use the app as intended myself.
- The U shapes pointing in different directions in the eye tests are called 'Landolt C's. I'm a dum-dum.
- The Congratulations joke had the perfect set-up so I had to do it even though it seemed like it was probably coming from a mile away.
- In the end, I said it's up for you to decide whether PDI Check is worth its asking price, based on its presentation and real-world applications. Personally, I do think that price is justified. While I still have criticisms about its presentation, I think that the doctors behind it should be compensated for their work on it, especially since doctors in third-world countries are able to use PDI Check for free. Considering all the travelling the doctors have to do, plus R&D and whatnot, including the fact that this was a 2018 3DS release and not many people would've bought it anyway, I figured a price of 99 USD would be reasonable as a way to recoup some of the costs, including a tip of appreciation for the doctors' work.
- "You could've just pirated it!!" The app was not available on any sort of pirating platform at all at the time of me making the purchase. :)
And here's the last core video of the year. It was smaller subject I had on hand in case the big core video project I was chipping away at for the past months wasn't able to come to fruition just yet, but it's still a great subject matter and a part of Nintendo history! (whether you like it or not.) I devised lots of neat little gags for this video, as it has a more light-hearted tone (it is a kids' website after all), so you could say that it's an experimental ground for things like that.
- I envisioned this gag as my room being decorated with papercraft Halloween decorations lying all over the place, but that might've been too ambitious! The ones in this shot are the only Halloween-themed ones I could actually print and display. The Gooigi mask was neat though.
- I did go out and buy a party blower as part of the gag. It only came in a bag of party accessories though, so I have unused eye masks and party hats and whatnot lying around now. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
- Did you see the link that was sent by mysterious_internet_guy_2001? Did you type it in your browser? I really hope you typed it in.
- One of the main reasons I wanted to examine Play Nintendo was to talk about their interactive games, but after actually going on the website I was kinda disappointed. The only non-generic game they have is Mario Stargazer, and I felt it would've been neater to see more minigame adaptations of Nintendo IPs. (There was a BOXBOY smartphone minigame released as part of a UNIQLO collaboration, which is probably something that would be perfect for this website.) Heck, Nintendo could've ported over some old official Flash games used to promote their older titles. (Those are actually in my list of planned video ideas...)
- The 'feeling long' joke is probably one of the very first ideas I had for the video, and it came out exactly as I envisioned it! Of course that meant doing some additional Truly Professional VFX but I like experimenting with new editing/effect techniques.
- "I remember when I used to print random crap that I made in Microsoft Word..." I still have some of those! They're in Chinese and too terrible/cringe-worthy for my taste though. But because you're all extra special, here's a little peek:
- I probably could've spent time talking even more about the Play Nintendo YouTube channel and some of the other series they had. One of the series that I wanted to talk about but cut from the script was 'The Adventures of Link and Larry the Cucco'. It's...well, just check it out.
- I'm 60% sure that me slamming my notebook onto the sofa at the end played a part in its left speaker getting slightly busted a few days afterwards. Oops.
Things of Interest
I figured that I'd talk a bit about the Things of Interest series I started in 2018 as well! Some of these have pretty much been mini core videos on their own, but I like experimenting with the format every now and then. I wasn't particularly too proud of my occasional stuttering in the Sunsoft Wide Boy video, but my off-script speaking definitely improved a lot by the time I unboxed the Kirby Pause Figure, so in the future I might have the confidence to do more unscripted unboxings! I'd tell you to look out for new TOI subjects soon, but the latest one has been upgraded to a core video! You'll hopefully see it verrrry soon by the time this article goes public.
And that's it for 2019, and subsequently the end of the decade! My entire YouTube schtick is mostly encompassed in the past 10 years, so that is some serious progress I've made, and I can't wait to see where it goes next. As for 2020 in general, my most important goals are to aim for completing the big video projects I didn't get to finish! You'll hopefully hear a lot more about them as I approach them. I've been collecting a lot of interesting games and accessories throughout 2019 and I really want to give them the spotlight they deserve. I may not be able to get all my currently planned ideas done in 2020, but I'll try my best! And once again, I would like to thank you all for sticking around and coming along for the ride. There's still a long way to go!
Have a fantastic new year, and MVBBY!